Joint SHMA reveals a need to build 23,600 new homes in Coventry
Photo by lamentables of flickr
23rd November 2013
A joint Strategic Housing Market Assessment commissioned by Coventry & Warwickshire has revealed Coventry City Council may have to build over 23,600 new homes between 2011 - 2031.
Coventry’s Local Plan was withdrawn after Government Inspector, Robert Yuille, found it to be unsound due to a failure to fulfil its duty to cooperate on housing numbers with neighbouring local authorities.
As part of the Inspectors recommendations, Coventry City Council has now carried out a joint study with neighbouring authorities to assess its housing needs.
The results highlighted a need to build:
These figures do not include any allocation of Birmingham’s 33,000 homes shortfall.
The joint Coventry and Warwickshire SHMA makes note of an identified level of unmet need in Birmingham and of the commissioning by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership of a Joint Strategic Housing Study. It also recognises the GBSLEP study is intended to identify the scale of Birmingham’s unmet needs which cannot be met within the local authorities Housing Market Area (HMA) and to consider options for additional development within the GBSLEP area.
At the time of finalising the joint Coventry and Warwickshire study, it was not possible to identify whether a shortfall will arise across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP Area or to quantify what this might be. However, should a shortfall remain other adjoining Housing Market Areas (including Coventry and Warwickshire’s) might need to consider if there is a potential to meet any remaining shortfall in accordance with the Duty to Cooperate.
While Coventry’s SHMA claims it is not part of the Birmingham Housing Market Area, the LEP study will test this and advise on the different housing markets that affect the GBSLEP area and the relationships between them.
Surprisingly, the joint SHMA conclusions have been outlined by the draft Planning Practice Guidance (CLG, Aug 2013) and the approach described therein to assessing housing need. This outlines that the starting point is the latest set of household projections published by CLG – in this case the 2011-based Interim Household Projections. It sets out that these may require adjustment to take account of the latest evidence and to consider need over longer-term timeframes for strategic planning. This has been done in the development of PROJ 1A which takes into account what the 2011 Census shows regarding population trends (and particularly migration) over the 2001-11 period.
However, at the Lichfield District Council examination during the Summer, the Inspector concluded that recent population trends based on 2011 Census do not constitute “compelling evidence” to revise housing numbers downwards i.e. Birmingham Council’s evidence for the planning inspector, derived from the 2008-based projection will most likely be the basis for allocating housing land. The ONS/DCLG next update of long term (25-year) population/household projections are not expected until 2014/15.
Should Coventry convince the Inspector its’ 2011 Census based evidence is compelling, Birmingham should also adopt this approach to ensure its housing figure requirement of 81,500 is reduced downwards.
If the Inspector insists Coventry use the 2008 Census, they could see a further increase of up to 23% more homes added to the plan.
Link to the Coventry & Warwickshire joint SHMA November 2013
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